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Rating: 3.7/5 (86 votes)
Comments (18) | Views (6,148)
zxoPyroWhile I admit that the staccato *pop* of a punctured Bloon can be quite pleasant, I dare anyone to deny the ultimate satisfaction that comes from lighting stuff on fire! Fortunately, there is now a great way to soothe your burning desire while maintaining the physics-y puzzle-iciousness you've come to expect from Bloons and other offerings.

From game designer Michael Gribbin comes Pyro, a bevy of burning, a calamity of combustion, and a triumph of torch. In short, a game of flame! The goal is simple: light all of the torches. If the copious numbers of wooden blocks spread across forty levels should also happen to go up in smoke, so much the better! Each level requires a certain number of torches (usually all) to be lit, and a given number of fireballs with which to spread your fiery chaos, though occasionally you may collect bonus fireballs.

Click and drag the fireball at the top of the screen to set the angle and power, then release to put it into play. Lighting all the torches with a single fireball earns you an ace, and once you've collected enough aces, you gain access to one of four secret levels. Some levels cannot be beaten with a single fireball, but you can still earn the ace by using only two.

Analysis: In contrast with everyone's favorite dart-throwing-monkey game, Pyro features sparse levels reminiscent of a medieval castle: wood, stone, torches, and nothing else. The puzzle lies more in plotting out a complex, ricochet-riddled path than in using an arsenal of special tools, especially if you're collecting aces. Even the special powers of the rare bonus shots are used without creativity, introduced and then forgotten, providing hints of future complexity left unfulfilled. Now, I don't mind a bare-bones game (in fact, some of my favorite games may be found in under the simpleidea tag), but the limited use of the special fireballs leads me to question why they were even included.

Nevertheless, the minimalistic design makes Pyro accessible to both careful course-plotters and those who prefer to fire early and often, just to see what happens. Awarding aces for perfect shots pacifies those pesky perfectionists who might otherwise balk at having more fireballs than necessary, while also making the game accessible to people who need those extra shots. Also, you can go back to any level you want and try again to get that ace (and get one step closer to unlocking another secret level), which adds a certain amount of replay value.

My only real gripe with the game is that the fireball will occasionally bounce differently than the trajectory line suggests, but since restarting is fast and simple (just press the [s] key to stop a wasted fireball), it's not really a major issue. So don your flame-retardant underpants and get ready to play Pyro!

[Note: This game is tagged pg13 because of some light swearing in the congratulations message at the end of the game.]

Play Pyro


Level 6 is impossible for me to get. I've bounced the ball of fire up against the torches from below, and from the sides, but it refuses to light.


I've just recompleted level 6 so it is indeed possible. As the developer comments say on Kongregate, a direct shot *won't* work.

But if you bounce it off the floor, it will. You'll need to ping off as far left as possible on the 2nd or 3rd column


Aced all of the levels a couple of days ago, but the impossible badge really is impossible to get :(


This game is really entertaining. I'm on Level 35. A couple of bugs:

1) Fireball can get stuck on a ledge. Perhaps it should time out if that happens?

2) The counter for the number of fireballs you have left should decrement as soon as the fireball is launched and not after it's done bouncing.

Other than that... I love it!


"a bevy of burning, a calamity of combustion, and a triumph of torch. In short, a game of flame!"

That made me laugh.


i got all aces horrah. level 35 had a glitch (got it on second try)
however, i cant get the bloody time down past 182 and that is really annoying because you need 160 to get impossible badge


@ tattooyu

when a ball gets stuck on a ledge just push s to suicide, or you can click the button on the top left.


The review was spot-on with its comparison to Bloons. A couple more things could have been mentioned though, like that the authors are considering a sequel that will feature a level editor.

Also, it's interesting to know that Pyro's revenues passed $2000 within its first two weeks of release - not bad for a game that took six weeks to make, using a free, open-source physics engine. :-)


Ah, this stole one of my christmas afternoons away in a flash... It was definitely worth it, though. Is it REALLY possible to ace every single one? I was overjoyed when I managed enough to unlock all the secret levels, acing them ALL seems incredibly far off for me.


Level 35 hint

Kill all the boxes with the first ball (easy).

With the second, aim at the far left wall so it bounces off the wall, then just skims the left torch. If you get lucky it will bounce around and hit the other one. I have gotten that method to work a couple of times, which is better than any other method I have tried.


Pyro is largely a proof of concept, and you were not the only one to notice the oddly unfulfilled potential of the powerup fireballs. Truthfully, I had designed more than half the levels before they were even coded, and in an effort to release the game quickly, never explored their potential fully. But I figured, since we coded them, including them was better than not.

When we get around a sequel, I promise to use them much, much, more creatively. We'll also be including a level editor :)

Thanks for the review. JiG!


How many Aces do you need to unlock the fourth bonus level? And which levels can you

Ace with two moves?


Dear Jay et al,

I would really appreciate if you would leave a sentence explaining why a particular game is tagged pg13. Sometimes it is obvious, but other times I have no clue and am hesitant to play the game and tell others about it to play with me.

Thanks, and I love your site!

[Edit: Game ratings are highly subjective, and over the years we have tried to provide a general "yay" or "nay" in terms of a game's relative suitability to an "all ages" audience, hence the "kidsafe" tag. We added the "pg13" tag for anything that wasn't "kidsafe" but short of something more extreme that would warrant a "mature" tag. Sometimes games fall on the 'edges' of these general tag definitions, and the tag we decide on is called into question. For this particular game, there is mild profanity in the congratulations screen. For some, that may hardly be reason for the "pg13" tag, but in this instance we felt it bordered on "not kidsafe". -Jay]


How do you ace levels 4 and 10? I've tried and tried but I can't get them!


How is it possible to ace all levels? There are some where you have to pick up an extra fireball in order to hit a second torch, namely when you have to get the small fireball pick up.


How to (actually) beat level 35- no luck involved!

First, use one foreball to burn both sets of boxes. Duh. Now using your cursor to aim, start high and pull the guideline down toward the LEFT torch. Let go when just the tip of your guide line is touching the middle "prong" on the torch. It will light it, bounce up and hit the right wall, and come down to light the right torch.

Works every time ^_^

trollface March 14, 2009 10:59 AM

Totally stuck on 39. I can get the top torch, but the bottom one completely eludes me.

Anonymous October 30, 2009 4:54 PM

Anyone know how to get Level 39?


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